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Personal profile


Minni (Minna-Liisa) Anko heads the RNA processing in Health and Disease Laboratory at the Biomedicine Discovery Institute/Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology. Her laboratory aims to understand how RNA processing controls cell identity through the regulation of gene expression programs during development and in the adult, and how aberrations in RNA processing pathways lead to disease.

Minni obtained her PhD from Abo Akademi University in Finland in 2005, studying G protein coupled receptor signalling. From 2006-2011, she was a post-doctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute of Cell Biology and Genetics, in Dresden, Germany. Her post-doctoral studies focused on the functions of SR protein splicing factors and their interactions with RNA. Minni was a visiting scientist at the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute, Monash University in 2011, during which time she established novel cell and animal models to study the functions of splicing factors in vivo. She then continued her research as a senior research fellow at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (2012-2013) until moving to her current position at the Monash University. Her current research focus is to reveal how RNA processing regulates gene expression programs that determine and maintain cell identity. On-going projects include the investigation of RNA processing mediated regulation of cellular reprogramming, role of RNA binding proteins in haematopoiesis as well as characterisation of RNA processing factor mutations in genetic diseases.

Minni has extensive experience in the fields of RNA, cell and developmental biology, as well as bioinformatics. The RNA Processing and Development Laboratory combines genetics and cell biology with systems biology approaches to gain a comprehensive and mechanistic understanding of how RNA processing is controlled in vivo. Minni's research has led to the discovery of in vivo gene targets for two SR proteins and has revealed a role for these factors in the regulation of distinct gene expression pathways, which has introduced new concepts and mechanisms in gene regulation of different cell types. In her work, Minni has applied and developed state-of the art methods which are widely used in the RNA field.

Minni has supervised Honours students to completion and is currently supervising a PhD student. She participates in teaching and organisation of the units in the Developmental Biology undergraduate courses. Minni is a member of the Monash animal ethics committee and she is very passionate about gender equity both in science and in the society. She is a member of the Faculty of Biomedical and Psychological Sciences Gender Equity Committee and she is mentoring junior female scientists in the Monash mentoring program and Talented students program.

Research area keywords

  • RNA, RNA binding proteins, gene expression, genetic disease, stem cell, differentiation

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Projects 2013 2020

Research Output 2002 2019

3 Citations (Scopus)

DDX5 plays essential transcriptional and post-transcriptional roles in the maintenance and function of spermatogonia

Legrand, J. M. D., Chan, A. L., La, H. M., Rossello, F., Anko, M-L., Fuller-Pace, F. V. & Hobbs, R., 1 Dec 2019, In : Nature Communications. 10, 1, 21 p., 2278.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
2 Citations (Scopus)

BAK/BAX-Mediated Apoptosis Is a Myc-Induced Roadblock to Reprogramming

Kim, E. J. Y., Anko, M-L., Flensberg, C., Majewski, I. J., Geng, F-S., Firas, J., Huang, D. C. S., van Delft, M. F. & Heath, J. K., 13 Feb 2018, In : Stem Cell Reports. 10, 2, p. 331-338 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
32 Citations (Scopus)

Capturing the interactome of newly transcribed RNA

Bao, X., Guo, X., Yin, M., Tariq, M., Lai, Y., Kanwal, S., Zhou, J., Li, N., Lv, Y., Pulido-Quetglas, C., Wang, X., Ji, L., Khan, M. J., Zhu, X., Luo, Z., Shao, C., Lim, D. H., Liu, X., Li, N., Wang, W. & 20 others, He, M., Liu, Y. L., Ward, C., Wang, T., Zhang, G., Wang, D., Yang, J., Chen, Y., Zhang, C., Jauch, R., Yang, Y. G., Wang, Y., Qin, B., Anko, M. L., Hutchins, A. P., Sun, H., Wang, H., Fu, X. D., Zhang, B. & Esteban, M. A., 1 Mar 2018, In : Nature Methods. 15, 3, p. 213-220 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

miR-222 isoforms are differentially regulated by type-I interferon

Nejad, C., Pillman, K. A., Siddle, K. J., Pépin, G., Anko, M. L., McCoy, C. E., Beilharz, T. H., Quintana-Murci, L., Goodall, G. J., Bracken, C. P. & Gantier, M. P., 1 Mar 2018, In : RNA. 24, 3, p. 332-341 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

mRNA Stability Assay Using Transcription Inhibition by Actinomycin D in Mouse Pluripotent Stem Cells

Ratnadiwakara, M. & Anko, M-L., 5 Nov 2018, In : Bio-protocol. 8, 21, 8 p., e3072.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review

Open Access

Activities 2017 2017

  • 1 Editorial responsibility

Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology (Journal)

Minna-Liisa Anko (Editor in chief)
May 2017Dec 2017

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial responsibility